Wednesday 24 January 2018

Punchestown is on cards for Modus as Aintree's off agenda

Punchestown is set to be the next port of call for Modus (pictured) after his fine effort in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

Aintree is off the agenda for the Cheltenham Festival runner-up, with trainer Robert Stephens preparing him for a shot at the Irish equivalent.

The five-year-old defied an absence of 340 days in the Grade One two-mile contest last week to finish a length and a half behind impressive winner Moon Racer.

Stephens said: "I am absolutely delighted with Modus. He had a very good race in the Champion Bumper last year when he ran so wide. He was another year stronger and all the hard work very nearly paid off. The start didn't help us as we ended up near the back, but so did the David Pipe horse (Moon Racer) as it sounded like they wanted to be handy, too.

"He can't go to Aintree, so we will aim him at Punchestown. With Cheltenham being his first run of the season he had a hard race and there is a bit more of a gap between the meetings. Like Beltor he could run on the Flat in the summer. He is a horse that will definitely get better with time."

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